Growing up my Mom’s life literally revolved around horses. She insisted that I learn how to ride, and made horses an active part of my life as well. I enjoyed it, and am pretty darn good with horses. I can do an awful lot with them with total and complete ease.
Unfortunately though, I was NOT allowed to do any other sports growing up. Every time the sports try outs came around she would tell me that the cost of having a horse took the money. I would look with longing at the cheerleading applications. I would look with longing at the dance team applications. I missed being able to do gymnastics like I got to do when I lived in Ohio.
Gymnastics was my real love. I really loved being able to contort my body in different positions and doing them with speed and accuracy. I can remember doing flips on my bed for hours on end, and my mom coming in laughing at me and telling I had to stop and go to bed. I’d literally get up in the middle of the night and turn my night light on and do it some more.
My stepfather took everything off my swing set because I literally used the top of it as my tight rope. I did more stunts on it than I could count. I loved it with a passion. I would climb trees and then do flips off of the top limb.
I never got to learn all of the fancy moves because we moved to SC where it wasn’t part of the PE program. It cost hundreds of dollars a month for me to go to the fancy class locally. Of course, my mom told me no more. She couldn’t afford it. She made me feel guilty that I had a love of something other than horses.
I wasn’t allowed to ask my Dad for the money for the classes because she wouldn’t take me to them. Which since I’m a mother now, and I can understand her position on taking me to the lessons (since it would have been an hour drive one way for each lesson.)
However, when I see the gymnastic team at the Olympics every year, I look at what they are doing with complete utter longing and desire. I itch to learn those things. I wonder all of those “what ifs” scenarios. Considering I have no real hand and eye coordination unless I’m mad as fire, I doubt I ever really would have been any good at it. Yet, I hate that I wasn’t given the chance to find that out for myself in a more advanced class than what I was able to take in my Elementary PE class.
I’m grateful for the memories I gained with my Mom riding horses. I will always have that skill to fall back on should something happen. I believe my Mom’s intentions were pure and that she never really meant to stand in the way of my dreams. She just was trying to ensure we had something we could do together.
As a prior single mother, I can appreciate that she had to make the choice between us having that time together or me doing a sport that I very well may not have been good at. Shoot for all I know, she may have been trying to save me the embarrassment of failing at it in an advanced class. (If you ever seen me try to learn simple dance steps you’ll understand what I’m trying to say.) So, I hold no hard feelings against her decisions.
That is the one thing I wish I could do, but know I’ll never be able to do it. I couldn’t do it now due to physical handicaps. I can dream about me being that gymnastics super star though.
What is something you wish you were able to do?